• Friday, Sep 18, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:55 pm

Saudi to tap vast oil stores after attacks disrupt output

  • Published at 04:33 pm September 15th, 2019
Photo: AFP

The drone strikes Saturday on national energy giant Aramco's processing plants in Abqaiq and Khurais knocked 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) off production

Saudi Arabia will use its vast oil reserves to offset disruption to production after an attack on two major oil facilities, its energy minister said Sunday.

The drone strikes Saturday on national energy giant Aramco's processing plants in Abqaiq and Khurais knocked 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) off production, close to six% of global crude supplies.

"Part of the drop will be compensated to clients" from storage facilities, new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a statement on the official SPA news agency.

The disruption represents half the output of the kingdom, which is the world's biggest oil supplier.

Riyadh has built five giant underground storage facilities in various parts of the country that can hold tens of millions of barrels of various refined petroleum products, to be tapped during times of crisis.

The facilities were constructed between 1988 and 2009 and cost tens of billions of dollars. 

Prince Abdulaziz said Saturday's explosions also halted supplies of some two billion cubic feet of associated gas - which is extracted along with the crude.

"As a result, ethane and LNG supplies will shrink by 50%," said the minister, adding that domestic supplies of fuel, electricity and water had not been affected.

As markets closely watch the OPEC kingpin's ability to get its industry back on track, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said that "work is underway" to restore full production.

Abqaiq is the world's largest oil processing plant and can handle up to seven million bpd, some 70% of total Saudi output.

It is located near Ghawar oilfield, the biggest in the world with reserves of over 60 billion barrels and a daily output capacity of six million bpd. 

The plant also receives crude oil and gas from Shayba oilfield in the Empty Quarter.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Tehran, saying there was no evidence it was launched from Yemen.

"Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," Pompeo said.

Last month, an attack also claimed by Huthi rebels sparked a fire at Aramco's Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility, close to the Emirati border, with no casualties reported.

The Huthis also claimed a May drone attack on two oil pumping stations on Saudi Arabia's key east-west pipeline, which caused a days-long shutdown.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail